About 4 blocks south of the Grand Place is the symbol of Brussels, Manneken Pis. This statute of a young boy urinating complete with fountain, was erected in 1619. At different points in the year the statute is dressed up for holidays and special occasions.
Why millions of people merge each day before this 61 cm high bronze statue of a child, pissing water to a small basin?
Well... because everybody goes.
No surprise that the ridiculous "monument" became the theme of many legends, traditions, and... business.
"I was there" or "I saw it" are two versions of the same common objective, between two bites in the mandatory chocolate.
Meaning 'little man pee' in Dutch is a landmark small bronze sculpture in Brussels old town.
Depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountains basin.It was designed by 'Hieronymus Duquesnoy the Elder'and put in place in 1618.The figure has been repeatedly stolen:the current statue dates from 1965,the original restored version is kept at the Maison du Roi/Bloodhuis on the Grand Place.
Many legends and stories are connected to the statue going back several centuries one of which tells of a young boy who was awaken by the great fire that destroyed much of ground place who thought he could put out the fire by urinating on it.The statue is dressed in different costumes several times a week,his wardrobe consists of several hundred different costumes many of these can be seen in the nearby museum of Brussels in the Grand Place.
Its a popular tourist attraction so best to get there early for good photos.
just a short 5 minute walk south from the Grand Place along Rue De Charles Bus and then to Rue De Effuve' will take you to the most famous statue in Brussels which is the cheeky Mannekin Pis. This small 61 centimeter bronze statue, made by local artist Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619 is a regular small boy which is taking a pee to the fountain basin below of which the statue is now a replica as the original is now housed in in the King Place (the Breadhouse just across the Town Hall in Grand Place where the more than 700 different clothes that the mannekin pis statue is dressed differently everyday is also housed).
The area is small and packed with tourists so be carfeful when taking a picture here as there are lots of pick pockets around here,
Manneken Pis: our little big celebrity
It is the best known of all Belgians (except perhaps Tintin)
It shows the spirit of the Belgians, and particularly (true) Brussels people always ready to laugh at themselves.
Do not expect a great monument: the statue is no more than 50 cm. It exists in its current form (bronze) since 1619, but its origin is much older: in 1388 it is already question of the fountain of "Little Julien"
In various occasions the statue is dressed to honor certain groups or corporations.
C'est le plus connu de tous les Belges (à part Tintin peut-être)
Il montre bien l'esprit des Belges, et en particulier des (vrais) Bruxellois toujours prêts à rire d'eux-même.
Ne vous attendez pas à un grand monument: la statue ne fait pas plus de 50 cm. Il existe sous sa forme actuelle (bronze) depuis 1619, mais son origine est beaucoup plus ancienne: 1388 il est dejà question de la fontaine du "petit Julien"
En divers occasions la statue est habillée pour faire honneur à certains groupes ou corporations.
I still wonder from were came the idea of building a fountain with the water streaming out a pipi, zizi or as used in Brussels and Brabant dialect a "pisellewiet" or "tichke".
What we know is that according to documents from 15th c. there was at the same place already a stone statue called " Juliaenekensborre " or " ‘t Menneken Pist " supplying the residents with drinking water but no representation of this stone statue is left.
In 1619, the city authorities asked Jerome Duquesnoy Senior to make a bronze statue. This statue experienced a turbulent history. A copy attracts now the tourists (and deceives some because the statue is only 58 cm; others are deceived because they expected to be there when Manneken Pis is peeing beer).
Many legends exist to explain the peeing little boy fountain but I wonder if they were not created afterwards to explain this original fountain. I have seen hundred of fountains but none with somebody peeing like here.
The Manneken Pis of Brussels is not really alone, there is in the Flemish town of Geeraardsbergen (Grammont) a similar statue also called Manneken Pis that goes back to 1459. It is older than the bronze statue of Duquesnoy (1619) but the stone ‘t Menneken Pist of Brussels has the anteriority.
Does it say something about Brussels that arguably its main attraction is the small statue of a boy peeing into a basin? He's certainly become an institution - even spawning imitations (the peeing girl is a poor substitute). Many legends and traditions have grown up since the statues installation in the 17th century. The legends are mostly nonsense, but the traditions are a bit of fun. One tradition, other than stealing him, has been to dress the boy in themed costume. When I visited the boy was dressed up in the team strip of one of the national teams playing that day in the World Cup.
On the corner of a rather nondescript intersection is the infamous Manneken Pis, the 2 foot statue of a little boy taking important matters in hand and taking a whiz. All sorts of stories abound as to why this effigy gets all this attention. I came, I saw, I shook my head and I still wonder why. More interesting were the 100's of costumes for this little pee for all dude located in the City's Municipal Museum. There is enough of a crowd during the day and night to make it hard to get an unobstructed shot. Maybe if they put a little more power behind the fountain effect on an at random basis viewers would be at risk of getting more of Manneken Pis than they bargained for, and also provide for some comedic affect... I'm just sayin....
Funny that this little statue of a naked boy peeing became the landmark of Brussels. And weird that people use to come here just to realize that it is just 61cm tall :)
It is a bronze fountain sculpture that was put in the top of fountain basin (where the boy urinates) in 1619 but some claim that there was stone statue at the same spot. What we see today is just a replica from 1965 because the original was stolen many times and now it is kept at City Museum.
There are several different legends behind it, most of them talking about a kid that got lost and when they found it he was just peeing on a basket or something. Then the parents donated the sculpture because they were happy about it but my favorite story is the one about the boy that saved king’s castle from fire by extinguishing it with his urine :)
Of course you will see the little statue in many other corners of city starting from the airport (pic 3), outside many buildings, at stores’ windows (pic 4) and obviously in hundreds magnets, cups, bags etc No surprise there are so many souvenir stores around
Believe it or not this small statue has a huge wardrobe with about 800 different costumes!! We saw many of them at City Museum (but actually you can see all of them at their interactive terminal). The pub Poechenellekelder at the corner had lots of pics where you can see some of them (pic 5). Every week they have a small ceremony with a brass band playing during the changing of the costume but during our visit it was just a naked boy :) The costumes are usually donations from embassies, artists, sportmen, associations etc
When you get to the corner which is home to this tiny little statue with the big reputation listen out for how many languages you hear "isn't it tiny!" said in!
The statue really is very small which is quite unexpected with all the hype about it. I don't actually see what the big deal about the statue is, but it's become such a well known cultural symbol of Brussels that it is now a must see when visiting the city.
You will know you are getting close as the density of tacky souvenir shops sells replicas of teh statue increases to a critical level!
The first bronze statue of the little boy was commissioned in 1619 by the city's officials but this may have been replacing an earlier stone version (but there is disagreement about this point it seems). The statue has been stolen on a number of occasions. In 1745, French soldiers took him and hid him in a warehouse. He was returned when Louis XV ordered a full scale search and then knighted the statue ( Sir Manneken Pis! ) in an attempt to avoid it being stolen again?
In 1817 it was stolen by an ex-convict for it's bronze content. The thief had smashed the statue up before being apprehended. He was publicly branded in the Grand Place and sentenced to a life of hard labour whilst the new (and current) statue was forged from the broken remnants of the old statue.
The statue gets dressed up in a variety of costumes for various events and you can see a number of these costumes on the top floor of the Brussels City Museum in the Grand Place.
This small bronze statue about 30 inches high is a little boy in the act of peeing in a fountain, is definitely one of the symbols of the city. Legend has it that the origin of this statue is inspired by the gesture of the son of a Duke in the twelfth century in the course of a bloody battle, was discovered pissing on a tree. Work by the artist Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder, was first exhibited in 1619. Its popularity grew significantly over the years and in 1698 the governor-Emanuele Massimiliano offered a dress to take the statue symbolically and from that day is a tradition that heads of state visit to the city offer thumbnails representing their costumes, all these models, more than 650, are conserved in the Musée de la Ville. We were fortunate to visit Brussels on July 21st day of the Belgian nation and was dressed in the national costume.
Esta pequeña estatua de bronce alta unos 30 centímetros representa un muchachito en el acto de mear en una fuente, representa sin duda uno de los símbolos de la ciudad. La leyenda cuenta que el origen de esta estatua está inspirada en el gesto del hijo de un Duque que en el siglo XII en el curso de una cruenta batalla, fue descubierto meando en un árbol. Obra del artista Jerome Duquesnoy el Viejo,fue expuesta por primera vez en el 1619. Su popularidad creció notablemente en los años, y en el 1698 el gobernador Massimiliano-Emanuele ofreció un vestido para revestir simbólicamente la estatua y desde aquel día es tradición que los jefes de Estado en visita a la ciudad ofrezcan miniaturas que representan sus trajes típicos; todas estas miniaturas, más de 650, están conservadas en el Musée de la Ville. Tuvimos la suerte de visitar Bruselas el día 21 de Julio día de la nación Belga y estaba vestido con el traje nacional.
The Mannekin Pis is Brussels' most famous statue; it is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the basin of the fountain. This little statue attracts thousands of visitors every year and yet is actually very small (when you can eventually find it). Whilst there are many sign posts around Brussels to help you into the general locale, once in the area, it's easily missed if the usual crowd of tourists is absent.
During the year you will often find the statue wearing costumes. When notable dignitaries visit Brussels, it is common practice for them to present a version of their national costume for the statue to wear on their national day.